Friday, May 12, 2017

From Pillar to Post

I have been jumping from pillar to post in my reading this past week. I started and put down two mysteries: Neon Rain by James Lee Burke because I could tell right away it was not suitable for bedtime reading, and Dead Angler by Victoria Houston in which the main character - a widowed dentist - couldn't stop lusting after the town sheriff instead of trying to discover who killed the angler.

Moving on.

Image result for mr dixon disappears amazon

I did finish Mr. Dixon Disappears by Ian Sansom. It is the second in the Mobile Library series (here are my thoughts on the first). In this installment - more of a comic novel than a mystery - Tumdrum's mobile librarian Israel Armstrong is accused of theft and kidnapping and finds himself in many an outlandish situation. Laugh out loud funny. 

Image result for lose the clutter lose the weight

I recently wrote about attending an event with organizer and declutter guru Peter Walsh (here). The only book of his that the library had as an ebook was Lose the Clutter, Lose the Weight. I reserved it and finally it arrived on my Kindle. In it he outlines a six-week program that is guaranteed to change my life (if only!). I am just beginning the book's introductory section but may skip ahead to the 'lose the clutter' bits.

Image result for the blackhouse

And finally, I just started a mystery in which the action takes place on the Isle of Lewis, the northern most spot in Scotland's Outer Hebrides. I am just a few chapters into the first book of the Lewis Trilogy by Peter May.  In The Blackhouse, Detective Sergeant Fin McLeod is sent to his home village on the island to investigate a murder that is similar to one he worked on in Edinburgh. I have heard good things about these books. 

By the way, a blackhouse is the traditional stone-and-earth dwelling with a thatched roof found on the islands.

So there you have it. I am not sure if today finds me at the pillar or at the post. Where might you be in your reading?


  1. I am actually between books at the moment. Most recently finished Last Chance Olive Ranch and The General's Women, both by Susan Wittig Albert. The General's Women was about Eisenhower during the war years - his driver Kay, a British citizen. Historical fiction based on truth? I thought it was a good read.

    1. Hi, Joyce. I haven't read anything by Ms. Albert although I know she has a mystery series or two out. I didn't know she wrote non-fiction as well (I just checked her website). Sounds like you are a fan! Thanks for chiming in.

  2. I'm sort of all over, too. I'm in the middle of several long books (How I Found Livingstone, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and Don Quixote). I'm also reading North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell and I just finished my fifth R. C. Sherriff book, Another Year. And my husband just gave me an Amazon gift certificate for Mother's Day - allegedly from the squirrel we've been feeding! I accused him of encouraging an addict! But then I thanked him - and the squirrel.

    1. Hi, Joan. Wow. I am impressed with your 'long reads'. I have never attempted any of them. I think the longest book I read recently (at least since I started BB&C) was The Three Musketeers. I thought I would never get to the end!

      I looked up Mr. Sherriff and see that he was the screenwriter for many a movie (Goodbye, Mr. Chips) as well as a novelist and playwright.

      And I am laughing at the gift from the squirrel. Made my day. I must see if any of the squirrels that scamper about in my yard have left me a present!

  3. There are certain books that just don't make good bedtime reading, aren't there? Stephen King's writing comes to mind. I read The Blackhouse several years ago and really liked it--I need to track down the others in the series.

    I'm currently reading Sheila Pim's A Brush With Death ("an Irish art and gardening mystery"), Findings, by Kathleen Jamie ("essays on the natural and unnatural world"--beautiful writing, and a joy to read), and Essentilism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. I just got this last one yesterday, and I think it's going to be a good one.

    Be sure to let me know if Lose the Clutter, Lose the Weight changes your life! I need to lose both of those things.

    1. Hi, Kathy. Great suggestions for my TBR list. I just saw a recommendation of Essentialism and now here is your mention of it so I must be destined to read it! I just put it on hold from the library. Your other two books sound terrific as well.

      I gave up on The Blackhouse. I just didn't like any of the characters and there was this underlying threat of violence that put me off.

      As to the clutter book: the main takeaway is to have a vision of each room and how you want to use that space and then whatever doesn't fit - out it goes. As to the weight - sort of the same thing. If your vision is one of health and energy, get moving and ditch the candy bar, sodas, and processed foods. (We know this but good to be reminded.) I didn't spend too much time on the weight part, but I have been inspired to attack my art supplies and desk. And I took five years worth of back tax stuff to a community shredding event. Whew!